It was not my finest moment.
It was worse than a bad moment.
It was a “You’ve got to be kidding me!” moment.
Some years ago, I worked as the Corporate Employment Manager for a big firm in downtown Minneapolis. I interviewed job candidates all day. Loved it.
But. One day …
I was interviewing a young man, and in the middle of the interview, I woke up.
Yes, that’s right. I woke up.
Somewhere between “Why are you interested in this position?” and “Tell me about a time when …” I fell asleep. But I kept asking the questions. I looked alert. Didn’t miss a beat.
I know it was just for a few moments, but Oh. My. Word.
He had no idea I had taken a little nap while he was dazzling me with his skills and experience.
I mean, really. Good grief.
I don’t know why it happened. I’m guessing it was a combination of a bad cold and lack of sleep and cough medicine. The brain is a funny thing, isn’t it? (This took “talking in my sleep” to a whole new level.)
Clearly, I was not fully present for a few moments.
Makes me wonder …
How many other times am I not fully present, but I am fully awake?
The opportunities to be distracted from the person we’re talking with who is right in front of us are in the gazillions, right?
We see their lips moving and hear a few of the words they’re saying—enough to nod our head and look interested at the appropriate times—but our minds are somewhere else. Thinking about the work we still need to do. Or the groceries we need to pick up. Or how we don’t really have time to be having the conversation.
Here’s what it’s prompted me to wrap my heart and head around today:
I need to be present in the moment.
I want to show up and let them know they matter. That what’s on their hearts matter.
That I care.
Whether it’s the clerk in the check-out line who is clearly having a bad day, or
The friend who is telling you her hurts for the 73rd time, or
The co-worker who insists on telling you how frustrated she is with her work …
Let’s agree to be present. Be right there with them.
Put away our phones. Stop looking at the activity around us. Stop rushing through the conversation because we have something more important to do.
I really believe that most people just need to know that someone sees them and someone cares. That they aren’t invisible. That their life matters.
We each have 1,440 minutes in a day. We choose how we spend every single one of them.
Taking 2 minutes to look into the eyes of the check-out clerk and thanking her for her help isn’t going to derail my life. But it might change hers.
(I’m preaching to myself here!)
Let’s consider how people’s hearts would be encouraged, and how the rest of their day would be better, if they just knew from us …
I see you.